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April 9, 2015

How to Infuse Our Lives with Grace.

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In our fast-paced world, it is important to remember the wonder and beauty that is grace.

Grace is the light in our souls. It is the forgiveness that we offer others and, most importantly, ourselves. It is the way we treat others with understanding, mindfulness and kindness.

Grace, no matter your belief structure, is the ability to see the divine in your fellow man.

Despite our ubiquitous use of the word, grace is somewhat amorphous and hard to implement in our lives. Even in a very mindful life, it is hard to get more grace.

As someone who interacts on a daily basis with families who thrive with special needs children, I find grace to be a necessity for a well-lived and fulfilled life.

Here are a few ways I have found helpful to infuse your life with grace:

1.  Practice forgiveness often. 

Grace and forgiveness are inextricably interlinked. The ability to forgive and move past daily indiscretions allows you to lead a more gracious life.

Someone had to bail on your coffee date?  This is your perfect moment to begin the practice of grace. Think of this as a gift from the Divine: a moment for you to practice self care and let your friend off the hook. No passive aggression. Without any unkindness simply say that you can’t wait to reconnect and please (it’s extra grace points with please and thank you) let you know if there is anything you can do to make his or her life easier.  After that, either take yourself on that coffee date or take yourself on a hot date with the outdoors.

Self care, forgiveness and kindness, both to yourself and your friend, create instant grace.

2.  Smile at everyone. 

Grace is defined as effortless charm, and, as I’m sure you know, there is no such thing as effortless charm.  Charm, just like grace, can be a learned skill for an easier and more mindful life.

Your charm and grace quotient will rise almost instantaneously when you begin smiling at everyone who crosses your path. Don’t divert your gaze from people you may not be able to relate to. Your grace and smile will brighten other people’s day, and in turn you’ll become more graceful, happy and infused with life.

3.  Write (with your pen). 

I have always loved to write, but as a child I thought the practice of writing thank you notes was arduous and unnecessary. My parents, dearly dedicated to Ms. Emily Post, always insisted that I hand write thank you notes in my best cursive.

The art of letter-writing is certainly dying, but who doesn’t love getting something in the mail that isn’t an advertisement or a bill?  Begin with hand-written thank you notes and then start writing each friend one note a year just thanking them for being a part of your life. Now that’s a graceful note anybody would want to receive.

4.  Unmerited divine assistance.

I found this delightful turn of phrase in another definition of grace.  Look for unmerited divine assistance in your life.

This can be as small as recognizing the life force and power of the beauty of spring flowers, or as large as the gift of your family and wonderful friends. Practice gratitude for this unmerited divine assistance and look for this grace in all of your gifts.

5.  Get goodwill.

Grace is the manifestation of goodwill. Oh, what a wonderful thing to be! Another way to increase grace in your life is to manifest goodwill methodically and with sincere intention.  This is, of course, easier said than done.

A simple way to manifest goodwill is to do things for those less fortunate, be it cleaning out your closet and donating the clothes to a local shelter, or volunteering regularly with a cause close to your heart.  Grace is a natural extension of goodwill.

Grace, despite having a large and sometimes broad definition, can dramatically improve your life and the life of your friends, family and community. Practicing grace will lead to a perhaps more challenging yet certainly rewarding and meaningful life.

Not only will this be rewarding for your community, but being infused with grace will also lead you to less reaction and more proactive experiences with the world around you.

Have you gotten grace lately?

 

Relephant Read:

The Spiritual Leap from Karma to Grace.

 

Author: Katie Schellenberg

Apprentice Editor: Toby Israel/ Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Courtesy of Author

 

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Katie Schellenberg